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Arethusa
post Mar 16 2005, 04:46 AM
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Suffice it to say that most of the old timers around here know I think a lot of SR3 was crap(py), but primarily, that I saw combat and weaponry as the most easily fixed (and, to some degree, most necessary to fix). For a while, I actively pursued a revised ruleset, though due to real life and community lack of interest, I eventually left it on indefinite (and likely now permanent) hiatus. I also worked on new rules for dying and staying conscious that (hopefully) made a hell of a lot more sense, and a set of canon compatible new guns that never saw much of a response. Raygun obviously has his set of well known rules, though those mostly stay within SR3 as much as possible. Austere never got around to putting up a website (because he is a very bad person), but he uses three part damage codes (probably the first thing that occurred to me as missing and necessary when I started getting into SR3 a bit over a year and a half ago) and has really quite detailed rules.

So, really, primer over with, I'm wondering where the Dumpshock is on the issue of more realistic weapons rules now that SR4 is on the horizon. Personally, beyond wanting the rules to finally be sensible and internally consistent, I'd really appreciate rules consistent with real life. Even Spycraft, which deviates heavily from reality in its rules in order to create a specific effect (ie it's a game about James Bond and Cate Archer, not a realistic combat and espionage sim), has managed a very admirable amount of realism in its handling of combat and weapons. I would very much like SR to finally take note of this and stop beating everyone senseless with the Abstraction Stick. Of course, then there's melee, which is simultaneously worse off and harder to fix for a number of reasons.

And, since I've heard that developers will likely read this, get your opinions out.

And hire some of us as consultants! Self interest rocks! And I hear that Raygun guy is ok, too. Austere's kind of a jerk, though.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Mar 16 2005, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Frankly, I agree that it might be a very good idea to not hire but to simply ask some of the people with extended knowledge of things related to SR to help with those areas of the game, or perhaps even consult them in some cases. Outside of the gun nuts, people who could at least stop serious mistakes from happening include, for example, Cray74.

It's a good thing that the game designers still have a final word on all those matters, since no matter how well all our house rules suit our own games, I doubt the majority of people would be too thrilled about your or my house rule sets or even Raygun's rules being part of canon. Especially now if SR4 is indeed more streamlined.

Judging from the amount of very negative comments I received for just including one more variable into the Damage Code you'd think most SR players are really in love with the way damage works in SR -- although some of the comments about reintroducing the variable staging in SR4 I find rather ironic.
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Critias
post Mar 16 2005, 10:46 AM
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For the most part, I'm fine (in a "this is a really simple, fun, combat system") with Shadowrun's weapons and damage codes and combat rules. Really. I play "combat" sort of characters pretty much exclusively; sammies, adepts, mages who try to act like both. I like physical combat in an RPG, and I like the SR rules.

But please, please, make "light pistols" 6M instead of 6L. Make it less mandatory that any given pistol is a "heavy pistol," please. The gap between a 6L and a 9M damage is ridiculously huge, both in terms of realism and game worth. I'm not going to try and argue that light pistols are worthless -- I understand that they aren't, quite -- but they are very very close to worthless, when compared to a heavy pistol, for most situations. They are ridiculously non-lethal. Absurdly so. Someone with an armor jacket and an average Body score has little to fear unless the guy plugging him is truly skilled. That's ridiculous.

Please.

Just...bump that up. Or bump heavy pistols down. Or...something. Keep the Light damage code for holdouts (most of them), where it's reasonable and where the weapon is very clearly meant to not be anyone in the world's primary means of harming the opposition. Light pistols in Shadowrun are supposed to be the default, the median, the average. Heavy pistols are, in fluff, meant to be rare, intimidating, over the top killing machines.

Remedy this. Make light pistols worth taking. Keep heavy pistols horrifying engines of destruction (compared to more reasonable handguns), but make light pistols dangerous.

Also -- I'd love it if they just bumped assault rifle's base damage up to 9M, or lowered heavy pistols to 8M, or something. A single shot from most handguns compared to a single shot from most assault rifles should, well, end up with the rifle on top. It'd be cool to just nudge one of those two power codes one way or the other. Mostly, though, I just want a reason to carry a light pistol.
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Raygun
post Mar 16 2005, 11:09 AM
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Well, I hate to say it guys, but I think any requests we make at this point are pretty much going to land in a big fat pile of too late. I'm pretty sure they're set on what's going where and doing what within the 4th Edition system. At this point we can only hope that some of the writers have listened to us bitch and moan (I know at least a few with some influence couldn't possibly have avoided it!) about what we don't like and have taken some steps to do something about the more rediculous things, while at the same time keeping it all as simple as possible.

I'm well aware that my own rules are a bit too intense for most players, and honestly, I wouldn't want the majority of the things I've done showing up in canon, if for no other reason that it would likely turn a lot of potential players off (what's with all this gun crap?). But there are a few very simple things, particularly those that Critias mentioned, that there's really no reason not to bring more in line with how things are out here in the real world.

Anyway, if they've taken any of my advice over the years and plan to put it into effect now, it'll be as much of a suprise to me as it is to you guys.
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Smed
post Mar 16 2005, 01:45 PM
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They are likely to be very far along in the process for the new edition. I'm guessing that they have been playtesting for a while, and are editing the books.
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Catsnightmare
post Mar 16 2005, 02:04 PM
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Either way, I'm just hoping heavy pistols get bumped down a notch. They need it in my oppinion. The whole more powerful than assualt rifles thing is just crazy.
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Smed
post Mar 16 2005, 02:18 PM
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QUOTE (Catsnightmare)
Either way, I'm just hoping heavy pistols get bumped down a notch. They need it in my oppinion. The whole more powerful than assualt rifles thing is just crazy.

I agree. The firearm rules are a bit screwy.
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mmu1
post Mar 16 2005, 02:50 PM
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One thing I'm hoping for is a revision of the way firearm skills are done - some sort of happy medium between having a lot of skills so that everyone doesn't know how to shoot most of the guns out there, and avoiding absurdities like Rifle and Assault Rifle being entirely separate skills.

I'd also like to see something done about the nearly binary nature of SR ranged combat - it seems like 90% of the time you're either armored well enough that the enemies might as well be spitting at you, or getting hit with something that forces soak TNs of 6 or more, and you're completely hosed. It might actually be a case of accidental realism, but there's little reason for that in a cinematic system where an unarmored unaugmented human can actually soak a gunshot wound down to nothing if he's tough and lucky enough.

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Zen Shooter01
post Mar 16 2005, 02:44 PM
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There are reasons for these weirdnesses. Whether you agree with them or not, that's another thing.

Heavy pistols have such a steroidal damage code in order to make them worthwhile and faintly realistic. If I shoot a man wearing a bullet-proof vest in the chest with my .45, the vest will save his life, but I'll still ruin his whole day. If you reduce HP damage to 7M or so, handguns will become almost pointless against body armor. But handguns are the most common weapons in the shadows for reasons of portability, affordability, and concealability. So if you reduce the damage code for heavy pistols, a lot of gunfights will be determined solely by who's got a shotgun installed in their cyberarm...or who's got a sorcerer on their team.

SMGs and rifles are so wimpy on single shot to keep them from being overpowering on burst and automatic. Yes, if a .45 does 9M, then a 5.56 mm rifle should probably do 8S, But then a burst would do 11D, and a lot of PCs would die awfully young.

And keep in mind that the relative effect of firearms has a lot to do with who you're shooting at. Don't forget that, allegedly, the average human has Body 3, Combat Pool 4. But how often are you shooting at him? Usually it's some ork street samurai with body 9, Combat Pool 9, Armor 7/5.

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Grinder
post Mar 16 2005, 03:10 PM
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Realism and rpg rules mostly aren't compatible. So your explanation makes sense and sounds very good to me. :)
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MYST1C
post Mar 16 2005, 03:17 PM
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QUOTE (Zen Shooter01)
If you reduce HP damage to 7M or so, handguns will become almost pointless against body armor.

What about a hit location system that allows you to shoot where the target has no armor?

The damage codes definetely need an overhaul.

Like in other RPGs damage should be based on calibre/ammo, not the "gun class" used.
A pistol and a SMG in 9mm should have the same damage. A sniper rifle and a machine gun in 7.62x51 should have the same damage.
Differences are things like range, precision and ROF.

IMHO the rules should be world-based not milieu-based (all-encompassing instead of runner-centric).
Making pistols stronger because runners are likely to use pistols lead to problems when people want to play characters other than runners (e.g. a military/mercenary campaign) and are suddenly confronted with assault rifles having lower armor penetration than heavy pistols...
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Austere Emancipa...
post Mar 16 2005, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE (Zen Shooter01)
Heavy pistols have such a steroidal damage code in order to make them worthwhile and faintly realistic. If I shoot a man wearing a bullet-proof vest in the chest with my .45, the vest will save his life, but I'll still ruin his whole day.

Yeah, it's going to hurt quite a bit. Assuming level III-A vest vs. a .45 ACP, though, it's very unlikely to cause any permanent damage, only slight bruising. The worst case scenario is that the bullet hits squarely on a rib so that it fractures, which seems to be about equal to a Light Stun, Medium Stun or at the extreme worst a Light Physical wound in SR. As body armor manufacturers like to point out, not a single police officer has yet been killed after being hit in body armor with a weapon that the vest has been rated to provide protection against.

On the other hand, an assault rifle will zip right through any non-rigid vest and still cause a large wound cavity. With most FMJ bullet designs (the M193 and M855 5.56x45mm bullets being a notable exception at ranges below 100-150 meters), you're just as likely to kill someone wearing a flexible armor vest than one without.

It's no real contest. Against people wearing body armor, assault rifles are still very, very deadly, while most pistols drop to being equal to low-velocity .22s for lethality.

QUOTE (Zen Shooter01)
Yes, if a .45 does 9M, then a 5.56 mm rifle should probably do 8S [...]

I don't remember anyone ever suggesting that 5.56mm ARs should do Serious damage. The problem is the low Power -- if a .45 pistol did 7M, then a 5.56mm AR could well do 9M. If 12S seems like a lot of damage then, well, I guess you should try and not get hit by AR bursts.

QUOTE (M$T1C)
Like in other RPGs damage should be based on calibre/ammo, not the "gun class" used.
A pistol and a SMG in 9mm should have the same damage. A sniper rifle and a machine gun in 7.62x51 should have the same damage.
Differences are things like range, precision and ROF.

Agreed, although it would be a good idea to keep in mind that barrel length can have a significant effect on the muzzle velocity and thus on terminal effect.

Thus hold-out pistols with very short barrels will tend to be crappy even if you chamber them for seemingly powerful rounds like the .357 Magnum or .44 Special. Likewise, a 7.62x51mm will have a much lower muzzle velocity when fired out of a carbine-length barrel than out of a sporting or sniper rifle (20-24"+) barrel, and fired from long-barreled SMGs many pistol rounds will provide significantly better penetration.

The effect is not big enough to consider in the rules except in extreme cases, however. For example, a 17.7" barreled battle rifle, 21.5" barreled GPMG and a 25.6" barreled sniper rifle, all in 7.62x51mm, can definitely be given the same Damage Code. These weapons should differ in other ways.

This post has been edited by Austere Emancipator: Mar 16 2005, 04:49 PM
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MYST1C
post Mar 16 2005, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (M$T1C)
Like in other RPGs damage should be based on calibre/ammo, not the "gun class" used.
A pistol and a SMG in 9mm should have the same damage. A sniper rifle and a machine gun in 7.62x51 should have the same damage.
Differences are things like range, precision and ROF.

Agreed, although it would be a good idea to keep in mind that barrel length can have a significant effect on the muzzle velocity and thus on terminal effect.

True.
But IMHO the SR damage codes don't allow much variety (even 1 point more or less in power has significant consequences) so I would prefer a set damage per calibre.
Differences between weapon families could still be things like range, recoil compensation, add-ons available, etc.
In Cyberpunk 2020 a 9mm pistol has a damage of 2d6+1, 50m base range and no precision modificator.
A 9mm SMG also has 2d6+1 damage, but base range 150m* and precision +1* (* due to the longer barrel). Plus much higher magazine capacity and ROF.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Mar 16 2005, 05:50 PM
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I'm going to venture a guess that in the interesting of "streamlining" the rules, they opted for similar rules that are in SR3. You can't make things easier by bringing into account the bajillion variables of real combat. Realism breeds complexity. The very nature of keeping it simple will overwash the realism some people so desperately can't live without in this RPG.
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 16 2005, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
As body armor manufacturers like to point out, not a single police officer has yet been killed after being hit in body armor with a weapon that the vest has been rated to provide protection against.

Given that as I remember a lot of body armor ceases to be rated against a given type of round as soon as it takes a hit from one, I could easily see that being so much weaseling by the manufacturers.
QUOTE
What about a hit location system that allows you to shoot where the target has no armor?

This is exactly what we don't need. Likewise with damage by caliber. It's just not necessary to the game, and serves only to detract.

~J
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GrinderTheTroll
post Mar 16 2005, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (M$T1C)
But IMHO the SR damage codes don't allow much variety (even 1 point more or less in power has significant consequences) so I would prefer a set damage per calibre.
Differences between weapon families could still be things like range, recoil compensation, add-ons available, etc.
In Cyberpunk 2020 a 9mm pistol has a damage of 2d6+1, 50m base range and no precision modificator.
A 9mm SMG also has 2d6+1 damage, but base range 150m* and precision +1* (* due to the longer barrel). Plus much higher magazine capacity and ROF.

That's one of things I really liked about SR weapons over the more traditional "xd6" damages.

Your skill, not the weapon itself, influences your damage. The xd6 puts an upper-limit on how much damage you can do, all you need to do it hit reguardless of how well. Ok some systems add in things like "on a roll of 17+ do double damage", but that still steers away from SR's unique and signature approach.
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Critias
post Mar 16 2005, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Likewise with damage by caliber. It's just not necessary to the game, and serves only to detract.

I disagree. Something as simple as assigning a caliber -- they could even keep it simple and just use mm for everything -- to weapons, and a damage code to calibers, would actually streamline the damage/weapon system quite a bit, in my opinion.

As would the ability to use the same box of ammo for your smg, machine pistol, and sidearm (as a for instance). Right now my Ares Predator II can't pack the same ammo as my Ares Predator I or III, much less a Browning Max Power or Savalette Guardian -- despite them all being the same class of weapon, all having the same damage code, and three of them all being from the same manufacturer. Nevermind the cries of cheese or cheating or house-ruling if some poor soul were to try and use the same box for his Ares Crusader, Ingram Supermach, and Colt American L36.

And we won't mention a quick fix to ammunition weights, while we're at it. ;)
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Pthgar
post Mar 16 2005, 06:48 PM
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I somewhat agree with Critias. The determinig factor for damage should be caliber and shot placement (skill). RoF should factor in there somewhere as should armor, of course. If they can make all of this streamlined, I will be very happy.
My fear is that they can't and I'll be forced to create house rules (or just wait for Raygun to come up with something.)
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 16 2005, 07:01 PM
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QUOTE (Critias)
Right now my Ares Predator II can't pack the same ammo as my Ares Predator I or III, much less a Browning Max Power or Savalette Guardian -- despite them all being the same class of weapon, all having the same damage code, and three of them all being from the same manufacturer.

Then you're playing under houserules. Ammunition in SR3 is by weapon type, so all Heavy Pistols can share ammo.

~J
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mfb
post Mar 16 2005, 07:11 PM
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which is so stupid it makes me blind. the only thing more stupid is the "any weapon can be purchased in cased or caseless versions" insanity. replacing the damage code column with a calibre column would solve both problems.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Mar 16 2005, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Given that as I remember a lot of body armor ceases to be rated against a given type of round as soon as it takes a hit from one, I could easily see that being so much weaseling by the manufacturers.

Which is to say that they aren't rated to protect against repeated hits closer than ~4" of each other. There may indeed be police officers who've been killed when they've been hit repeatedly in a vest with a handgun, but no recorded incident of a police officer dying as a result of for example a .44 Magnum hit to a level III-A vest.

For a decent representation of what it might feel like to get shot with a handgun while wearing a flexible body armor vest, wear a heavy coat and get someone to ram you in the ribs with the blunt end of a pencil. Sure it'll hurt, but you dying from it is not very likely.

QUOTE (Critias)
Right now my Ares Predator II can't pack the same ammo as my Ares Predator I or III, much less a Browning Max Power or Savalette Guardian [...]

Yes they can. They are all Heavy Pistols, thus they can all fire the exact same ammunition -- the stupid bit is that they can also all share ammo with the Ruger Super Warhawk, as well as any other Heavy Pistol ever made by any firm, except for a few special weapons.

QUOTE (M$T1C)
But IMHO the SR damage codes don't allow much variety (even 1 point more or less in power has significant consequences) so I would prefer a set damage per calibre.
Differences between weapon families could still be things like range, recoil compensation, add-ons available, etc.

Shortening or lengthening the barrel of a weapon drastically does have significant consequences. A 124gr bullet fired out of a sub-compact pistol with a 3" barrel might manage only 1000fps, while out of the 16.5" barrel of the Steyr AUG Para SMG it might manage 1350fps -- that means over 80% more kinetic energy at the muzzle, which increases the penetration potential of the bullet dramatically. The difference can be as great as that between a 9x19mm and a .357 Magnum out of the same barrel length.

The difference is at least as great when you compare a long-barreled rifle to a short carbine, both firing the same rifle caliber cartridge. Out of the 25.6" barrel of a sniper rifle, we might be looking at a muzzle velocity of 2850fps for a 150gr bullet. Out of the 11" barrel of this gun, the same cartridge might push the same bullet at only 2200fps for only 60% of the kinetic energy at the muzzle. The relative difference is about the same as between a rifle in 7.62x51mm and one in .300 Winchester Magnum.

In cases like these, a one or two point drop or raise in Power is definitely called for. But, again, these represent a (very small) minority in the weapon variety in any particular caliber.

QUOTE (M$T1C)
In Cyberpunk 2020 a 9mm pistol has a damage of 2d6+1, 50m base range and no precision modificator.
A 9mm SMG also has 2d6+1 damage, but base range 150m* and precision +1* (* due to the longer barrel). Plus much higher magazine capacity and ROF.

If a barrel is long enough to increase the range of the weapon, it's long enough to increase the damage of the weapon. A longer barrel increases the range of the weapon through increasing the muzzle velocity of the bullet, which is also plays a major part in determining the terminal effects of the bullet.

In all fairness, though, a SMG is more accurate and has a longer effective range than a pistol of the same caliber mostly because it is a shoulder arm that you can keep very steady. I bet the effective range of an MP5K with a shoulder stock is maybe twice or more that of a basic 9x19mm handgun with the same barrel length.

This post has been edited by Austere Emancipator: Mar 16 2005, 07:45 PM
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apple
post Mar 16 2005, 07:51 PM
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I always propose:

[with a caliber example]
light pistol / light submachine gun: 7M (9mm Para)
heavy pistol / heavy submachine gun: 8M (.40er S&W)
light rifle / assault rifle / hunting rifle / sniper rifle / LMG: 10M (5,56mm Nato)
medium rifle / assault rifle / hunting rifle / sniper rifle / MMG(GPMG/UMG): 11S (7,62mm Nato)
Heavy Rifle / MG: 16T [(.50er BMG)
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Critias
post Mar 16 2005, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (Critias @ Mar 16 2005, 01:40 PM)
Right now my Ares Predator II can't pack the same ammo as my Ares Predator I or III, much less a Browning Max Power or Savalette Guardian -- despite them all being the same class of weapon, all having the same damage code, and three of them all being from the same manufacturer.

Then you're playing under houserules. Ammunition in SR3 is by weapon type, so all Heavy Pistols can share ammo.

~J

My bad. I misremembered something. Thanks for correcting me; it's even worse, now. "Weapon class" instead of damage code determines what ammunition you use. That's stupider.
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 16 2005, 08:43 PM
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Simple: all weapons with the same ammo and different damage codes have different barrel lengths :grinbig:

No, it doesn't make sense, but it's at least physically possible now.

~J
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moosegod
post Mar 16 2005, 08:37 PM
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Critias, I'm pretty sure SR3 says that the ammo only works for one weapon(Ruger Superwarhawk, Ares Predator). No books ATM, sorry.
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